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EghtesadOnline: The marketing holding company DNA Union in collaboration with local startup accelerator MAPS opened an innovation center in Tehran on Sunday to promote applications of cutting-edge technologies in the advertisement sector.

Dubbed AAV Innovation Center, it will help provide startups financial assistance and mentorship. DNA Union has said it wants to invest 17% of his annual turnover in startups while MAPS will handle the technological side.

Due to the US economic restrictions, Iran’s economy is facing a multitude of challenges and many startup accelerators and venture capital funds have walked away, according to Financial Tribune.

Noting that in the past several months advertising business has shrunk, the DNA Union chief Nasser Pashapour Nikoo told the Financial Tribune, “It is true that after the new US sanctions many foreign firms suspended their work in Iran. Foreigners can opt out, but I will stay put. My assets are here. The way ahead for me is to invest in the future.”

He adds that the Iranian ad market has declined by almost 30% in the past few months.

The annual advertisement expenditure in Iran amounted to 35 trillion rials ($3 billion) in 2017 according to survey carried out by ADRO.

Pashapour is of the opinion that local firms with their limited resources could not compete with their international peers that used to work in Iran prior to the US economic and banking restrictions.

“All said, recent developments have provided local firms the opportunity to claim a share of the market.”


Long-Term Perspective

Director of local startup accelerator MAPS, Fereydoun Korangi, says, “You shouldn’t approach business as some tree today that will give fruit tomorrow. It never works that way. When investing you must wait for the harvest season.”

Secretary of Tehran Guild Association of Online Businesses, Shayan Shalileh, was present at the launching ceremony of the center. He said, “AAV Innovation Center is the first of its kind offering specialized acceleration services to startups in the ad sector.”

Close to 72 startup accelerators and innovation centers are operating in Iran and some accelerators specialize in healthcare and fintech.

Startup owners and those with innovative ideas related to the ad industry can make use of the services offered by the center. For further information, they can go to


Tehran Innovation Center startup accelerator Ad Industry DNA Union MAPS advertisement sector